We are used to being able to track (some parents, literally, though not me) our kids. When Marcel is in Edinburgh I can see on Instagram or Facebook where he's been or what he's been up to. You always know where they are these days. But when the kids go off on their World Challenge trip, they don't take their phones so you are completely cut off. Phones are strictly forbidden - the rationale being that if they're having a wobbly 10 000 miles from home, then they would contact their family or friends and it would leave both them and their family in a state while being unable to help, if however, they have no phone or social media, they will rely on their team mates for support and they'll quickly get through any downs. Because of this, I've never seen any footage of Marcel's trip through India, just some photos.
Charlotte is in the final countdown to her trip to Nicaragua - 39 days, so while procrastinating over her Maths studying today, she googled MCHS (Mearns Castle High School) World Challenge and happened upon three wonderful videos of Marcel and his team in India.
I have to admit, watching it brings on a whole host of emotions. I'm thrilled to see my boy on the other side of the world, so happy and at ease. I'm tearful seeing him handing the gifts to those villagers and waving them goodbye. At the same time I'm sad that I never had an opportunity like that in my day and desperate to jump on the nearest plane to experience the chaos, the heat, the smells... (I was born to travel and that need has never left me). Finally it fills me with determination that all my kids should get to see the world while helping others - what better start could there be to adult life?
Next month when Charlotte gets on that plane to take her fifteen hours away, I'll be scared witless that my tiny little girl is stepping out into the world, and at the same time I will be so thrilled for her. She is such a lucky girl.
Hey, maybe they do World Challenge for pensioners? Maybe my day will come... one day?
(I have to say too how much I love the third video - it's so cute, but I think Marcel's auntie Gillian might need to give him some dancing lessons!) Lol.